Live Blogging a Summer Camp Registration

Author: Alix Mednauseam
Published: March 02, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Woman on computer Um. Yeah. I'm really live blogging a summer camp registration. I've complained before about all the time (Estimate: 40 hours) and money we devote to summer camp sign ups. Have no doubt about it, this is a time-consuming activity that involves: researching camps, scheduling them on the calendar, ensuring proximity of drop off and pick up locations for different kids, and coordinating with parents of my kids' friends. This all takes place before we have written our holiday thank you notes. Yes, a half year before our little darlings will enjoy their camps.

In calculating all that time, we can't forget this: it can take an hour to sign up for each camp.

I'm trying to get my son into Stanford All-Sports Camp. For one week. That's all. Registration opened at 10am today. I rushed home from a doctor appointment, arriving at 10:07 am. I Google the URL and get straight to the registration page. I click the giant red "REGISTER" button. In fact, the button is so enormous it suggests we parents have been pretty stupid about finding it in the past. I'm ready to get this thing done in 5 minutes and rush to my class that begins at 10:30am, but that is not my fate. The tab on the top of my browser says "Waiting Room." My wait time: 17 minutes. I've never been in a registration waiting room before. If I click away from this page, I will lose my place in line to sign up my son for a single week of summer camp.

While in this Waiting Room, er, Penalty Box, I consider that I'm not guaranteed a spot for my son in this camp. I recall that last year, one camp opened registration at 9 am and closed at 9:08 am. My biggest penalty: I am missing a class that I pre-paid $35 to attend. Before I arrived home, I called the front desk and told them to tell my teacher I'd be late, but that I would be there, no matter what. I'm doubting that will happen right now.

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